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The Preventive Check in Medieval and Pre-industrial England

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Author Info

  • Morgan Kelly

    (University College Dublin)

  • Cormac Ó Gráda

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

England’s post-Reformation demographic regime has been characterized as ‘low pressure’. Yet the evidence hitherto for the presence of a preventive check, defined as the short-run response of marriage and births to variations in living standards, is rather weak. New evidence in this paper strengthens the case for the preventive check in both medieval and early modern England. We invoke manorial data to argue the case for a preventive check on marriages in the middle ages. Our analysis of the post-1540 period, based on parish-level rather than aggregate data, finds evidence for a preventive check on marriages and births.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP11_10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201110.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201110

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Keywords: Malthus; demography; preventive check;

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  1. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2009. "From Malthus to Solow: How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 68-93, March.
  2. Foreman-Peck, James, 2011. "The Western European marriage pattern and economic development," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 292-309, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Tracy Dennison & Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2013. "Does the European Marriage Pattern Explain Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4244, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. repec:cge:warwcg:173 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Cinnirella, Francesco & Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England," CEPR Discussion Papers 9116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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